Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson and members of the local Nigerian community celebrate the release of dozens of Chibok schoolgirls
From Cheryl Waide, Deputy Communications Director
MIAMI, FL – Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24) joined members of the local Nigerian community in celebration of the recent release of 82 Chibok girls from their Boko Haram captors. Congress-woman Wilson joined The Word of Life Bible Ministry Pastor Ige Kelly Osaigbovo, and Desmond Alufohai from the Ni-gerian American Foundation (NAF) to issue remarks at a celebratory press conference held at The Word of Life Bible Ministry on Monday, May 8, 2017.
“I was elated to learn that dozens of Chibok girls were released three years and three weeks after being abducted by the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram,” said Congress-woman Wilson. “All the girls aren’t home yet, but my hope springs eternal that they will soon be reunited with their families.”
Dozens of members of the local Nigerian community attended the celebration, some wearing red attire – the signature color of a #BringBackOurGirls social media campaign which Congresswoman Wilson has continuously led in the U.S. to bring awareness to the plight of the Chibok girls. Pastor Osaigbovo applauded the social media campaign and the congresswoman’s other efforts to bring the missing girls home. “I saw the passion, the vision, and the mission of the congresswoman on behalf of the Chibok girls,” said Pastor Osaigbovo. “Though she is not a Nigerian by birth, she continues to fight for our causes like she’s one of us, and I thank her for not giving up.”
NAF member Desmond Alufohai echoed Pastor Osaigbovo’s sentiments. “The Nigerian diaspora here in South Florida thank Congresswoman Wilson for her tenacity and leadership,” said Alufohai. “We know that she is a fighter, and that is why the NAF gave her the Chieftaincy title of ‘Jagunmolu’, which means ‘The People’s Warrior’.”
The press event at The Word of Life Bible Ministry is one of several forums the lawmaker has participated in to raise awareness of the ongoing threat Boko Haram poses, to ensure that the Chibok girls are not forgotten, and to build support for international efforts to defeat Boko Haram. Congresswoman Wilson plans to visit Nigeria soon to meet with the Chibok girls’ parents, and President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, which has been working on the girls’ release from captivity.
“President Buhari’s approach has been a welcome change from the previous administration,” said Congresswoman Wilson. “He has kept his promise to work for the girls’ return. But we cannot relax our efforts because our own administration has two important deadlines approaching which directly address our assistance to Nigeria and the fight against Boko Haram. It is of critical importance that we not miss these deadlines.”